Tank of the Month - July

July 2005 - Tank of the Month
Skye & Tracy Jerolamon


Check out the PowerPoint presentation on Skye & Tracy's tank by clicking here!

1) Your name, location and occupation. Include how long you have been an aquarist, how long you have been a WMAS member and how you heard of our club.

Name: Skye and Tracy Jerolamon
Location: Holliday/ Sugarhouse
Occupation: Printer
How long have you been in the hobby? I have been doing SW for 2.5 and FW for 5 years. I am a little OCD with my tanks.
How long have you been a member of the club? 2+ years
How did you hear about the WMAS? PC Pondbuilder is a friend of mine. He directed me to WAMAS to help calm the fears of going saltwater.

2) Describe your tank. Acrylic or glass? Size in dimensions and gallons. How long has it been set up?

Acrylic / Glass: Acrylic
Size in gallons: 125
Dimensions: 4x2x2
Age: (how long has the system been running) I have had this tank for 1 year.

3) Describe your lighting system, including your photo-period. Add what you would change if you could.

I have 2 125W HQI 20k and two 35w actinic t-5's. I run the T-5's for 14hrs and the HQI's for 12hrs. I started piecing the system together with PC's Starting with 4-55íers on my 80 G. Then got this tank and had a total of 4 55w white and 4 55w actinics running over the tank. It basically sat ON the water to make the light penetrate enough. I just picked up the MH canopy from a guest off the board and it has been running on the tank for 1.5 month. I still don't know what bulbs I want to run.

4) Describe your filtration system. Include: How deep is your sand bed, plenum, your skimmer size and model and how long you run it, your circulation pumps (how many and their size in gallons per hour), your sump/refugium including Reverse Daylight, biowheels and skilters, HOT systems, clean up crew.

My sand bed is fairly deep at 5-6 inches. It goes from 6+ inches at the overflow to 4-5 inches at the opposite end. My skimmer is kind of big, and does a good job as long as I have the water level correct, otherwise it overflows, or doesn't work. It fits in the spot I planned when I resealed and sectioned off my 30G glass tank. I bought a kind of big expensive return pump that pumps around 900GPH. I run reverse daylight, and grow a fairly decent amount of caulerpa. I have a single return in the tank with two 802 Powerheads, with canister filters attached. I change them when the pumps don't look like they are pumping a lot. I try and have a lot of hermits, I DO have a lot of bristle worms, and a med. sized horseshoe crab to keep the bottom stirred up.

5) What are your maintenance techniques? Include water change schedule

I have to add water from my RO system usually about every third day or when the bubbles let me know I am low on water. (sad but true) I run RO into 5G bottles and try and keep roughly 30g around for most of my tanks. I do a partial water change every couple of months. I try and keep the skimmer drained, and the filter pads on the powerheads cleaned out. I mostly rely on BIO filtration to keep the parameters good.

6) What additives do you use? Kalkwasser, Strontium, Molybdenum, Iodine, Magnesium, Other

I add iodide every once and a while and a two part calcium additive every once and a while. I have crushed coral in the tank and sump to help add calcium. The rest is too high tech for me, and I have softies mostly so I don't worry. It seems to work so far.(lol)

7) Describe your feeding philosophy. Include your schedule, and what you prefer to feed your system?

I feed my fish every night. They stare at me if I don't. I have a tropical blend of flake that has high proteins and color enhancers. At least once a week I give shrimp to the fish, eel, stars, and crabs. I like to get several frozen foods and mix them together for fish and corals once a week also. I have pearls, brine shrimp, blood worms, beef heart, cyclopese, and kelp.

8) DIY ie, Calcium reactor, stand / hood, skimmer, sump, ect. Any Do-it-yourself items of interest? Web-sites that you may have referenced?

Well DIY Hmmmmmm, I have a 55 gallon tank that I built the entire hood and stand for, I have resealed several of my glass tanks including my 30g sump, 225,75,35. Well, ok, ALL my glass tanks have been resealed. I built the steel stands for my 75g terrarium, 35g guppie tank, and the 225 catfish tank. I have a large multi-dwelling terrarium that WE built.
I have a TON of DIY. I for one don't have the cash (I'm stingy too) to buy everything new. If I can built something I get to take pride in that. Plus it's cheaper and I will do it better next time. After a while your stuff looks really good and is half the cost of new.

9) Stand and Canopy

I got the stand from a LFS with a cracked tank that was 4x2x12" tall. I got it for really cheep and basically trashed the tank, but I loved the footprint so I held onto the stand hoping someday I would get a tank that matched for cheap. Well 3-6 months later off the WMAS BB There it was; tank and hood. I won a coin toss and was able to bring it home. I started setting it up from there. I had to plumb it all and re-brace the stand. But it was all worth it. It has a weird hood that is aluminum and full of 2" holes. But it came with the tank and it makes good ventilation. Plans are in the works to build a DIY stand and canopy for it when I move. Until then I enjoy 3 sided viewing with what I have.

10) Items of interest: Favorite or unusual Fish, coral, or invertebrate

Favorite Fish: Hard to say, I have so many.... I have a cinnamon pair that the male like to bite me EVERY time I am in the tank. I really like my large catfish too though.
Favorite Coral: hammer and frogspawn corals. I am also getting really attached to my encrusting xenia. It's not as aggressive as regular, but still pulses.
Favorite Polyps: bla
Favorite Sponge: bla
Favorite Crab: I am a big crustacean guy, I wish I had more. I have a large hairy orange aggressive hermit crab thatís fun to watch.
Favorite Worm: There are a few jokes here, But we will go with NOT Bristle cuz Tracy got stung.
Favorite Clam: the one I own.

11) Can you include a table showing your elemental levels of Ca+, alkalinity, S.G., temperature, pH and other interesting testables?

No cuz I am a slacker.

12) What experiences and challenges have you had with the tank? Any lessons learned? Is there anything you do differently than others (or differently than previously)? If so, why?

It's been interesting doing a reef tank. I have used my membership fees for WMAS 10 times over with just stupid Q-A posts. I have lost corals, fish, and patience a few times over with my systems. But now that it is balanced and going strong I REALLY enjoy my tank. I moved it across the room with ALL the sand in it, Just so I can see three sides. I think it is so neat to look in every nook and cranny and see something growing or moving. I like that my family and friends all come by and look to see whatís new in my tank. I have one friend that will occasionally buy a fish for my system cuz "I have done all the hard work, and he can just enjoy his fish each time he comes over" I am relatively lazy when it comes to maintenance and equipment for my tank. I like to just leave good enough alone. I think that if you get too much going on in your system you will overload your brain and no longer enjoy your hobby. It will become a chore. I don't want that. I want bigger and bigger, but it all costs money. But time will tell. Like I said, OCD.